top of page

Choosing to Downsize as a Senior

Updated: May 19, 2022

Go through your belongings early on

If you have already decided to downsize, the first thing you will need to do is to go through your belongings and decide what pieces you will keep and what you can get rid of.  Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to throw away the items you will not be taking with you to your new home – depending on the age and wear of the item in question, you may be able to sell it through an online site like eBay or OfferUp, or donate it to Goodwill or a similar charity organization.

As you go through your things, begin by setting aside your necessities.  These are the things that you use every day. For instance, if you bake frequently, you may want to make sure to grab your mixer and other critical tools.  Next, look through your collections of things like your closet of clothes or cases of books.  Going through your closet, in particular, can be a great way to reduce the amount of things you’ll take with you to your smaller home.  Follow a similar procedure, on a smaller scale: identify which articles of clothing you wear frequently and set them aside, then add the pieces you wear less frequently but still like.  Whatever remains – the pieces you never wear, or pieces that were gifted to you and promptly put in the back of the closet – should be donated to save space.

Research prospective homes online

As you go through your things, you will, of course, also need to select a home.  Different seniors require very different types of homes. For example, if you have joint problems, look for a single story home or an apartment on the ground floor.  If your goal is to save as much money as possible, be sure not to get distracted by amenities you do not intend to use, like a neighborhood pool.  To help your search, start by researching real estate online to find out how much homes of your preferred size in your preferred location generally cost.  Instead of focusing on specific numbers, try to find an average price.

Allow yourself time to move and get used to your new home

If you have already gone through your belongings and narrowed down the location and specifications of your home, the moving process will go much more smoothly.  Your experienced real estate agent should be able to walk you through the specifics.  If at all possible, you or someone you trust should be sure to walk the home in person before making an offer.  Once you’ve moved in, allow yourself several months to get used to the new space.  Particularly if you lived in your former home for many years, it can be difficult for your body to get accustomed to a new layout, and you may find it frustrating at times.  Give yourself time to ease into the space, and your rhythms will develop.

Your senior years can be a great time to downsize, not only to save money, but for a change of location as well.  As you go through the process, be sure to enlist close family members and friends to help out so that the process moves forward as smoothly as possible.

Photo Credit:

Written by:

Michael Longsdon


bottom of page